Sunshine Ligustrum Losing Leaves? (causes and how to fix them)

During the winter months, sunshine ligustrum drops its leaves. There are too many possibilities of this problem such as weather effects, improper supply of water, and pests.

Too much or too low supply of water can cause shedding of leaves. It also triggers yellowing of leaves which ultimately results in dropping of leaves.

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Whether you have a small ball-shaped or tree-shaped sunshine ligustrum in the garden, it drops 30 to 40 leaves every day during winter.

ligustrum | Plant Gardener

Well, some experts say it is normal but some disagree with this.

Perhaps, your sunshine ligustrum is dealing with the nature effect.

If they are replaced by newer leaves, then it is okay otherwise you have to find the right solution.

Basically, sunshine ligustrum is a year-round shrub. It grows well in every condition and a low-maintenance plant.

So, if you are noticing dropping of leaves at a low pace then it is normal. Too much shedding is a problem and you must consider it as a big issue.

As we have mentioned, inadequate or excessive water supply can be a reason for leaves dropping.

But, pests such as aphids, honey fungus, and scales can create big trouble for sunshine ligustrum. They suck the sap of leaves, making them weak, yellow, and pale.

As a result, they fall down. Here, we will mention some solid reasons for leaves dropping on sunshine ligustrum and some quick fixes. Keep scrolling to enhance your gardening knowledge.

Why is sunshine ligustrum losing leaves?

It can be triggered by various things. Sometimes, when you buy a sunshine ligustrum from a nursery and introduce it to your garden, it takes some time to acclimatize.

When it acclimatizes completely, then the problem of dropping leaves will vanish. Inappropriate watering can cause dropping of leaves but it is hard to detect. This hardy, evergreen, and golden-hued shrub is ideal as a hedge and flourishes in full sun.

Sunshine ligustrum is an all-weather plant that is hard to kill. If your sunshine ligustrum is facing prolonged wetness, then it is hard to revive it. This is the only thing that can kill sunshine ligustrum. Poor drainage is another solid reason.

You are recommended to eradicate or trim dead branches and leaves so that they couldn’t harm healthy branches. Fig rust can be one of the major reasons for leaves dropping.

Extreme Cold Weather:

Cold weather is another problem that can cause leaves dropping on sunshine ligustrum. This is one possibility and you can change the location of your shrub in a dry and warm condition during winter.

Prune damaged parts in order to strengthen the growth of sunshine ligustrum. It helps to streamline the growth of your plant and also helps it grow a little fuller.

How do you fertilize sunshine ligustrum?

In order to keep your sunshine ligustrum healthy and effective, you must take aid of fertilizers. Fertilization is necessary if your sunshine ligustrum is dealing with dropping of leaves. Only use recommended fertilizers or organic herbs for fertilization.

Effect of Pests:

Here’s another common reason for leaves dropping in sunshine ligustrum which is due to the pest that is Nematodes.

Root knot nematodes target ornamental plants mostly and one of the most damaging things. They destroy roots and leaves. Fungal disorders are one of the biggest reasons for dying or losing leaves of sunshine ligustrum.

Wilting or Dropping Leaves:

If your privet is suffering with any problem or disease, then it shows the wilting sign first. It mostly happens with new plants when you bring them from the nursery. It happened due to the change of atmosphere. A new hedge takes some time for acclimatization.

In this case, you can ask the nursery for the problem. These plants will be kept in a nursery in a shaded area and when you place them in full sun then it faces dropping leaves.

It is essential to ask to check the environment of new plants in the nursery before bringing them home.

There are different pests in the form of wingless and immobile that damage your sunshine ligustrum. Massive attack of insects can cause leaf drop, curling, yellowing, or wilting of leaves.

Planting Conditions:

It is crucial to keep the sunshine ligustrum in full sun. The soil must be full-drained and check the drainage of soil before planting new sunshine ligustrum. There is no need for specific weather for the growth of sunshine ligustrum because it grows well in all conditions.

Sunshine ligustrum can tolerate drought and other dry conditions effectively but excess water is bad for its growth.

If you are seeing leaf drop in newly planted sunshine ligustrum then it means they are not getting regular water. You have to be consistent in this matter and water regularly sunshine ligustrum after planting.

Well-drainage systems and hot weather conditions increase the demand for water in sunshine ligustrum. During this period, the roots are going through an establishing phase and they need adequate supply of water.

Waterlogged soil can make roots too soft and wet. In this case, the sunshine ligustrum faces trouble in the form of leaf drop. During this scenario, you must reduce the water supply.

Frost Conditions:

If you have planted sunshine ligustrum in spring, then there is a chance that they face frost conditions. Severe frosty conditions can damage sunshine ligustrum and it can be the reason for leaf drop. This mostly happens with specimens.

Planting during mid-fall can also damage sunshine ligustrum in winter. You can wrap sunshine ligustrum in an old blanket, protecting burlap, or fleece in order to protect from frost impact.

You can remove the covering in the morning and cover the sunshine ligustrum after evening. In this way, sunshine ligustrum can get enough sunlight and this thing is really suitable for its growth.

Privet Concerns:

If you are experiencing leaf drop issues in sunshine ligustrum, then check privet for insects. Spider mites, scales, or aphids are some pests that can damage your plant. You can remove these insects with the strong pressure of a garden hose.

In order to confirm the attack of small insects, you can check the rings, holes, or brown spots on leaves. Fungal disease is also a big problem for your plant. If you see these kinds of spots on leaves or branches, then pruning is the best solution. Burn the trimmings in order to fortify the growth of sunshine ligustrum.

Pruning is really an effective and natural method to protect your sunshine ligustrum from further problems.

In order to remove fungal disease from your sunshine ligustrum, enhance the air circulation which is ideal for discouraging the fungus. As a result, sunshine ligustrum will start sprouting new leaves.

Does sunshine ligustrum have an invasive nature?

Yes, we can say that because it grows at a fast pace in full sun. Sunshine ligustrum is perfect as a hedge in your landscapes.

It has a non-invasive nature and is sterile. It is also good for those who are allergic to flowers because sunshine ligustrum does not bloom.

What grows perfectly with sunshine ligustrum?

We recommend vibrant containers for planting with sunshine ligustrum. You can match and contrast sunshine ligustrum with companion plants to make them more watchful. It goes perfectly with bold-colored plants like orange rocket barberry and purple pixie.

You can grow sunshine ligustrum on its own for making some wild feel in your garden. There are endless combinations that offer year-round beauty and color.

How to fix leaf drop issue in sunshine ligustrum?

As we all know, sunshine ligustrum can tolerate harsh conditions so it is easy to fix any problem by taking some precautionary measures.

If you see any signs of leaf drop, curling, yellowing in your sunshine ligustrum, then you should check the wetness of soil.

If it is too damp, then change the soil first. If you see weak branches and leaves, then prune them as soon as possible.

It gives boots to healthier branches and you will see new leaves after a few days. Improve the drainage of soil and place different plants near sunshine ligustrum.


Leaf drop in sunshine ligustrum is not a big problem. It is easy to fix problems and you should not worry about this. When you plant sunshine ligustrum with companion plants, then you must pay heed to these plants.

According to expert gardeners, you must fertilize sunshine ligustrum twice a year in order to fulfill any nutrient deficiency. If the hedge is still facing the issue, then get the opinion of an expert horticulturist or entomologist.

You can use simple natural methods to control insect attacks, disease, or fungus. On the other hand, spraying your sunshine ligustrum with strong pressure of water also helps to get rid of many problems.

There are countless methods of fixing leaf drop in sunshine ligustrum. So, what are you waiting for?

Beautify your garden, landscape, patio, or porch with sunshine ligustrum; it contains beautiful shape and golden-hued foliage. You can also shape sunshine ligustrum according to your needs because it is prune-friendly.


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